Thursday, May 3, 2012

Why I am an Atheist (part four)

This is part four of this article, here you can find parts one, two and three.

Part IV: The Elegant Universe

When I was a boy, I looked up at the sky and wondered about all the amazing things that could be out there, all the life that must fill our universe and how it was only a matter of time before we would find someone, somewhere, who would have all the answers to all the questions I could ever think to ask. Maybe the biggest questions that have plagued us as people, center on questions of our origins. Why are we here? Where did we come from? How can we come from nothing? How can the universe and everything in it come from nothing? These are not new questions, they have been around as long as people have existed.

Long before we had modern astrophysics and cosmology, theologians attempted to answer the questions of our origin. And although the answer invokes little mystery, such are the ways of the faithful. You may have heard the old adage, it takes more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a believer. This, of course is meant to point out a conflict that does not really exist. Believers maintaining that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, deity creating the universe, betters explains the existence of everything, than the Big Bang, which came from nothing.

In 1916, Albert Einstein shocked the world of physics by publishing a paper that described a universe that was dynamic and flowing, in direct contradiction to what everyone knew at the time, that the universe was a static one. In Einstein's theory of general relativity, space-time was not static but rather something that could be curved with sufficient gravity. Objects with sufficient mass produce gravity, and if that object had enough gravity, it could bend space around it. An example of this can be seen by pulling a blanket out tightly held at both ends, and tossing a ball in the middle. As the ball rolls around the blanket, the blanket curves around it, allowing it to flow freely with the movement of the ball. In this example, the blanket is space-time, and the ball is the object with sufficient mass.

Einstein's theory would change modern astrophysics forever, no longer would we look at the universe the same way again. Up until that point, scientists believed that the universe was a cold, dark, place that had existed forever, and would exist forever, and Einstein's theory of relativity turned that idea on it's head. When Einstein originally conceived his universe, he did so with the belief that because objects with sufficient mass would produce gravity, it meant that the universe was basically a giant field filled with objects that all pulled together with the attraction of gravity.

This meant that the universe would not expand forever, but rather that the natural attraction of gravity, actually pulled things together, in direct contradiction to science at the time. The problem with his theory, and one Einstein soon realized was that if the expansion of the universe was happening, it meant something was wrong with this theory. Einstein realized that and considered a new idea, that the universe must contain something that holds galaxies together, but keeps them apart, something he called the cosmological constant. New questions began to arise that again cosmologists would need to answer, because the theories that Einstein predicted meant that either the universe was indeed expanding and would continue to expand forever, or the gravity of the universe would eventually cause it to collapse, something scientists have called the Big Crunch.

In 1929, Edwin Hubble an astronomer, changed everything again when he proposed that the universe was indeed expanding. Hubble showed that from our observation that universe would appear to cause all galaxies to move apart from each other, something dubbed Hubble's law. Hubble's law showed that deep space objects appeared to conform to Doppler shift, that meant that there was a change in the frequency of a wave moving relative to the source of the wave.

An example of this can be heard by the whistle of a passing train, as the train gets closer, the sound gets higher, and it recedes as the train passes. Light is an emitted wave, much like sound and as such the laws of physics apply to it similarly. As light moves away from us, its wave becomes more and more stretched out, until it passes into the red end of the spectrum, a term referred to as redshifted. Hubble observed that the light from distant galaxies appeared to be more and more redshifted the farther he looked out, this allowed him to measure the velocity the galaxies were moving at, allowing him to determine that galaxies indeed were expanding away from each other. This meant that the universe was indeed born from one central place, the Big Bang, as predicted, had happened after all.

Although Hubble had explained that the universe was expanding, it meant something was still off, after all, if gravity was indeed attracting objects together, what was causing this expansion to continue, and if the universe was expanding as Hubble could show, why didn't galaxies come apart as the universe expanded?

One problem that has plagued science is the idea that something can come from nothing, after all, how can we explain a universe that came from the Big Bang, and at the same time declare there was nothing there to begin with? The answer to that question has only recently become something scientists can answer. When Einstein created his cosmological constant, he knew that the idea of such a thing meant that it would be something that more or less might never be proven, because it would be a force that no one could actually see. When Hubble released his findings of universal expansion, Einstein backed away from his theory of a cosmological constant, sighting it as “the biggest blunder of his career.”

Had Einstein lived another forty years, he would see, his prediction would not be so blunderous as he originally thought. Indeed, if you take all the matter of the universe, all the galaxies, stars and planets away, but leave the cosmological constant, you are still left with a universe that is populated with something, at the same time, being populated with nothing at all. This means that even if the universe is completely empty, it still contains something, extraordinary.

It is in the science of quantum mechanics that we begin to realize that a universe can be both empty and full simultaneously. Quantum mechanics is the study of objects at the atomic and subatomic levels. That means although relativity attempts to explain the very large objects in the universe, quantum mechanics attempts to explain the very small. Everything in the universe is made up of atoms, and when you examine atoms, you find they are made up of electrons, with a nucleus composed of protons and neutrons. The amount of protons in an atom, determine its atomic number, the scale we use to determine the chemical element of the atom, a scale we call the periodic table of elements.

For example, hydrogen is made of one proton and thus its number is 1 on the periodic table of elements, helium is composed of 2, Lithium is composed of 3, and so on and so forth. When we examine the contents of a proton, we find that although this proton contains quarks, it appears to be mostly empty. But as we examine it more closely we can see that quantum fluctuations within this proton that cause subatomic particles to pop in and out of existence actually account for much of the mass of the proton. This translates to the proton having mass, even when empty.

This means that the universe if emptied off all its matter, would still contain objects that have mass. Quantum fluctuations can be described by the change of temporary energy in a single point of space. This is best described by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. This principle dictates that a subatomic particle's position and momentum cannot be accurately measured, because the act of measuring the particle would change the position and momentum of the particle. All of this may seem like hokum, but science has been able to prove that all of this is happening at the subatomic level with the invention of large particle accelerators. In particle accelerators we are able to see what happens when atoms are accelerated to something close to the speed of light and allowed to collide. This collision allows us to see the contents of atoms like never before.

Because of this we have been able to determine that matter is mostly made up of empty space, in fact, since the atoms in the matter of the universe are about 90% empty, it means that most of the mass of the universe comes from empty space. This caused a problem once again, because it meant that if everything that we couldn't see made up most of the mass of the universe, it meant that the math of the universe dictated that it contained more mass than was available to the universe as we know it. The easiest way to explain how this is possible, is to calculate that number, not in the magnitude that the calculation would predict but rather conclude that all that energy was being canceled somehow, and that it really meant that it equaled zero.

Once you realize that the number is really zero, things begin to make sense. Although this concept may seem extreme, it is easy to see how such a thing is possible once you consider that the universe works this way all the time. Things are constantly canceling each other out, a mathematical symmetry, as its called.

In Einstein's theory of relativity, a space-time that is dominated by gravity, results in a space-time that is curved. This means that the universe can be seen in a few ways. Either we live in a universe that is closed, meaning that it acts like a bubble that allows light to have an end, or one that is flat or open, meaning light would go on forever. In a closed universe as objects expand, the attraction of gravity would eventually cause the universe to pull itself together, thus causing the Big Crunch some scientists have predicted.

However, a universe that is open or flat would not suffer such a fate, in fact, a universe that is open or flat, would expand forever, and as we shall discover, in either case, Big Crunch or expansion, the future of the universe is a grim prospect in either sense. When cosmologists began to examine distant points of space looking for a way to determine the total mass of the universe they came upon an interesting problem, galaxies contained more mass than could be determined by just counting the mass of the matter found in galaxies. When they looked at clusters of galaxies something odd happened, the galaxies weighed more than they should, based on the mass that could be determined by the total amount of matter each galaxy contained. This meant that there was something there they couldn't see, in fact, it represented 90% of the total mass of the galaxy.

Scientists have now come to understand that although galaxies are made up of some matter, if you take the total mass of all the matter contained within a galaxy and examine it, you find there simply isn't enough matter to keep the objects in the galaxy attracted to one another. This means that if galaxies are mostly made of matter, they should be coming apart. But when scientists looked at distant galaxies they were not coming apart, this meant that something was keeping them together, something that had a lot more mass than the matter contained within the galaxy, scientists have dubbed this dark matter.

In 1998, scientists who ironically were attempting to measure the expansion of the universe to determine how slowly it was expanding, made a remarkable discovery. The universe was not expanding slowly as they believed, but accelerating with each passing moment. That meant that the galaxies that scientists like Edwin Hubble observed moving away from each other, didn't slow down as the universe expanded, but actually accelerated as they expanded farther from each other. This again caused an interesting problem, since we know that dark matter keeps galaxies from coming apart and it makes up most of the matter in the universe, what would be causing the acceleration of expansion then?

Scientists knew there must also be some kind of force that is working to accelerate the expansion of the universe, a theory which has been dubbed as dark energy. And although scientists cannot actually see dark matter or dark energy we know that it accounts for more than 99% of the total mass of the universe. When we attempt to account for all the matter in the universe we still only account for less than 1% of the total mass of the universe, which means that for all intents and purposes the universe is mostly made up of things we cannot see. Scientists now believe that around 70% of the universe is made from this dark energy and 30% is made of dark matter, and all the rest of the matter in the universe, all the galaxies, stars, and planets, make up less than 1% of the universe.

Because of this acceleration of the universe as it expands, the most sensible concept of the universe is that it is one that is flat. And it is because of this that we are able to see why a universe that can come from nothing is possible. It is only in a flat universe where gravity can determine the amount of energy required to do this. As I have previously explained, mathematical symmetry allows gravity to be both a positive and negative force and thus the energy required is zero, as they cancel each other out. And as I've previously explained, with quantum fluctuations that allow the introduction of particles to pop in and out of existence, it is in this kind of universe, that something can come from nothing.

So although it may be more comforting to assume a deity is responsible for the existence of the universe, the science just doesn't support such a hypothesis. And although we are left with some answers, we are also left with some questions. Why would a universe exist where so much of it is dominated by nothing, leaving such an insignificant amount left for everything else? And if the universe did come from a Big Bang of nothing and the expansion of that Big Bang is accelerating, what does it mean for the ultimate fate of the universe?

Scientists have wondered how a universe that is dominated by almost nothing can come to produce life at all? One such theory that has emerged comes from a concept of quantum mechanics, in which the possibility of multiple quantum universes exist simultaneously, and the idea that in any given situation whenever an outcome is possible to happen, every outcome does happen in multiple quantum universes, called the multiverse.

The way to think of such a thing, is to think of this multiverse as a tree with an infinite number of branches. Whenever a possibility must occur, the branch of the tree forks infinitely to account for all possible outcomes. Again this may seem purely nonsensical, however, when we observe subatomic particles we are able to see that they can exist in multiple states simultaneously, which contradicts common sense. After all, if something is here, how can it be there as well? And although, science has tried to disprove this, thus far, quantum mechanics seems to dictate that this observation appears to be happening. So if just such a multiverse exists, it means that a sort of cosmological natural selection is happening.

In that kind of multiverse it means that there are an infinite number of universes where maybe no matter emerged at all, or maybe the laws of that universe were slightly different, and gravity was too strong, thus forcing a universe like this to expand too quickly never allowing galaxies to coalesce, and therefore life becomes impossible. So it seems that the laws of inevitability would determine that eventually, that perfect universe, the Goldilocks universe, might emerge. So you could have an infinite number of failures, and only one success and we would still come to pass, after all, if it were not possible we wouldn't be here to argue the validity of just such a possibility at all.

Of course by that rationale, the possibility also exists that for as many failures there could be successes and there could be an infinite number of universes out there that have creatures much like us, asking the same questions we ask about our origin. Because of this concept it only takes a moment to realize that the possibility of a universe where the possibility of life is so small and insignificant is still ultimately, not only possible, but mostly probable. That means in the game of cosmic lottery, ultimately someone wins.

Although the possibility of a flourishing universe is mostly a probable one, we must also look at the existence of life in just such a way as well. When I was a kid my grandparents bought me a telescope, and although it wasn't terribly powerful or expensive, it allowed me to look up at the night sky and see the moon more beautifully than I had ever seen it before. I peered into its lens and could see the bright stars everywhere I looked. In 2003, the Hubble space telescope, named after Edwin Hubble, was focused on a part of space where it appeared to be completely dark, a point where no stars could be seen.

After months of compiling data a new picture of the universe began to emerge, one in which scientists always surmised the possibility, but earthbound telescopes had little luck showing. In that tiny fraction of the sky the Hubble observed, a point which appeared to consist mostly of dark space, there emerged a picture of the universe, not one of darkness but of millions of points of light. When magnified each point of light showed itself to be a galaxy. That meant that even in areas that could be observed as having no light whatsoever, if viewed under a powerful enough telescope galaxies would emerge.

If millions of galaxies could be observed by focusing on a point in space, no bigger than the size of a quarter when compared to the size of the moon as observed, it truly meant that the possibility of a flourishing universe was made even more probable than we could ever have imagined. Next time you are standing outside at night and you look up into the night sky, look for a point of space that has no visible light and imagine that, although you cannot see it, after all, your eyes are unable to view something that far away, that point in space you are looking at is full of millions of galaxies.

Then glance around at all the stars you can see, because their light is so bright, and look at all that empty space in between. If you can even envision just such a thing in your mind, you are looking at hundreds of billions of galaxies, each populated with hundreds of billions of stars. If even 1% of those galaxies have the possibility of stars capable of supporting life, and 1% of those stars have planets around them, than you are still left with billions of planets that could have life on them. If life has arisen on this planet, and we know that it has, because we are here to talk about it, than we must conclude that a universe like ours is a universe that not only possesses life, but is one that is thriving with it.

Life is an amazing thing, even once you conclude that in the cosmic equation, life is as inconsequential to the universe, as a grain of sand is to the mountains that cover the planet Earth. Life isn't something that was put here, as theologians might have us believe. Life is a matter of eventual inevitability, as a consequence of a thriving planet like Earth. The way to think of life is to think of it as merely a tumbler in the lock of universal chaos. As things move around, gravity attracts the objects of mass together, and the planets begin to form around stars. As the dial of a lock is spun around, a tumbler within the lock fits into place, and the same such things happen in the universe. When all the tumblers fall into place, the lock is opened, and life happens. Life didn't begin at the hands of a deity, but rather it began long ago in the death of a star.

After the Big Bang, a cosmic process of evolution began, the intense heat created from the explosion that created the universe allowed the forces to combine and expand. As the forces expanded, they cooled, separating into the four fundamental forces of the universe as we know them today, gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces. As the universe continued to cool, the quarks of the sub-atomic realm formed, a process that is dictated by high-energy physics. Soon after that protons and neutrons formed, which lead to the formation of atoms. As the universe expands, it cools further and hydrogen atoms begin to form into clouds. Gravity attracts the clouds of hydrogen together into the formation of the first protostars. The condensing hydrogen begins to form a core, and the heat of this core causes the hydrogen atoms to fuse. This fusion to helium causes a massive release of energy, and gravity pushes against the protostar forcing more fusion of atoms.

This dance of gravity and nuclear fusion causes the first stars to form. Unfortunately, these massive stars are incapable of sustaining the fusion required to produce enough energy to stop gravitational collapse, and very quickly these stars explode in massive supernovae. These supernovae force the newly formed atoms to spread everywhere, and gravity does its best to collect these clouds of atoms into new protostars. This process will continue, over and over, spreading hydrogen throughout the universe. Soon enough the clouds of hydrogen gas have spread thin enough that as gravity attracts them together, instead of massive unstable stars forming, new galaxies of stars would form.

The smaller a star is the slower it will burn, and the longer it will survive. The longer a star can survive its eventual destruction the longer it has to fuse elements. Because of this, the larger stars that were formed in the earlier universal expansion were unlikely to form anything but simple elements like hydrogen and helium, however stars that came later, like those that would form with galaxies would burn longer and slower allowing them to form the more complex elements found in the universe, just before they ultimately explode. As stars continue to form and explode in the new universe, the elements form into clouds of dust, then coalesce into debris around the newly formed stars.

These would be the beginnings of systems, the formation of planets around a star. As the angular momentum caused by gravity, swirls the debris around, chunks of rock and dust collide as they move by, and the planets begin to take shape. In its molten form, a planet of sufficient mass has the gravitational field required to pull its mass toward the center as it forms. The angular momentum of the planet forming, causes the rock being pulled toward its center to become a molten fluid, that sets as the planet cools over time. This process is called hydrostatic equilibrium, and it is responsible for the spherical shape of planets.

At this point the planet has to cool off quite a bit for anything to happen, and as this happens much of the remaining debris that has not been formed into planets succumbs to the gravitational pull of larger bodies, many of these becoming moons themselves. The remaining debris will find itself either on a collision course with a planet or moon, or gravity will take hold of it and drop it off somewhere inside or outside the system, maybe destined to become an asteroid or comet.

From this point on all of the elements of that planet will have been determined by the debris that was used to form it, with one exception, debris that could be introduced by a crashing comet or asteroid as it collides with the planet. At this point all of those elements that make up the planet and ultimately will be used in the formation of any life on that planet will have come from the explosion of stars that came before it.

Now although hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, it only comprises about 10% of the human body, and without the fusion of elements, resulting from the supernovae of stars, the elements oxygen (65%), carbon (18%), nitrogen (3%) and various other elements of which we are mostly comprised, would not have been possible. So as Lawrence Krauss so famously stated, “The only way these elements could get into your body was if stars were kind enough to explode, so forget Jesus. The stars died so you could be here today.” It seems such a waste to worship someone who had nothing to do with our existence and only existed as a result of the same cataclysmic event as the rest of us.

It would seem then if humans were meant to worship the true creators of our existence, it would not be in deities that we should hold our allegiance, but rather the stars found in the night sky. It would seem to me that being a sun worshiper makes more sense than being a Christian.

One of the hardest notions religious people have trouble understanding is the idea that life isn't special and that it doesn't take a God to create it. Life isn't special, in fact there is no difference chemically between you and the chair you might be sitting in. Sure there may be some elements found in the chair that might not be found in you, or some of the elements are of different proportions, but if that chair was made on this planet, chances are that it is comprised of much of the same things you are.

So then it begs the question if the chair and I share common elements why am I alive and the chair is not? And this is the question that seems to cause quite a stir, because religion would have you believe that God is pulling all the strings, and so the reason the chair is not alive and you are, is that God has made it that way. The problem with that is, God isn't the reason this chair isn't alive. So to understand this we must first understand that life is merely a state of being.

At the quantum level, the chair and I are really not different, in fact, you'd be unlikely at that level to see any difference at all. So what does make life? Well it's certainly not atoms, atoms are not alive. Atoms are combined to form molecules, but molecules are also not alive. Abiogenesis is the study of origin through the evolution of organic life from inorganic matter. The cells that exist in our body are all alive, and all of them contain amino acids which are inorganic molecules often referred to as the building blocks of life. So how exactly do we go from an inorganic molecule like an amino acid, to an organic cell?

Most notably abiogenesis requires either the process of replication and/or the process of metabolism as an explanation for this. The idea of self-replication in abiogenesis relies on the idea that inorganic matter would divide and replicate over and over, forming more complexity through the evolutionary process. Metabolism as it relates to abiogenesis is the introduction of chemicals into the process allowing the construction and formation of more complexity. It should be noted that although both processes have been put forward as a theory for the evolution of life from inorganic compounds, it seems more likely that a combination of the two are actually responsible for the production of life.

In 1952, Stanley Miller and Harold Urey experimented with the notion that inorganic matter could be used to create organic life, if the chemicals and conditions of primordial earth could be synthesized in a closed environment. This is often referred to as the primordial soup experiment. Miller and Urey placed water, methane, ammonia, and hydrogen into sealed containers. Water was heated to simulate evaporation, and electricity was introduced to mimic the kind of storms a primordial Earth might experience. As the water vapor cooled, the mixture would reduce to the bottom where it would be heated again, evaporating and starting the process over again. After a week of continuous experimentation, a sludge had formed.

The mixture was found to contain at least eleven amino acids, responsible for the creation of proteins, which are used in the production of living cells, and organic compounds like carbohydrates and lipids, though no nucleic acids were found. Though the experiment had some interesting conclusions it left many with a conclusive answer to the question of life, that it couldn't be created in a simple experiment. Because of this, many religious people took this to mean that only God could actually create life.

In 2007, after the death of Stanley Miller, scientists who were interested in further research on the subject examined the old containers used in the experiments. Upon examination it was clear that more than twenty different amino acids had actually been produced by the experiment, all used in the production of cell building proteins. New evidence has also come to show that the experiment itself may have been flawed, not because of failed methods, but rather a lack of knowledge. We now have evidence that suggests that the Earth may have contained a much different environment than the one used by the Miller-Urey experiment.

Through further experimentation, applying a new understanding of the environment of the primordial Earth, the primordial soup experiment had yielded even more complex molecules than originally produced. One can surmise that finding that Goldilocks situation is all that is likely needed to produce the correct combination of chemicals resulting in the production of organic life.

I can understand the need for some people to run to a religion to get answers to their questions, it would seem that for them, its easier to believe that a deity was responsible for the creation of everything rather than a natural order of things. These are certainly complex questions and even more complex answers. But I believe it is our responsibility as intelligent conscious animals living in a universe that is primed for discovery to seek out this information and to teach others. On the cosmic scale, we live in a time that is important for universal discovery.

As the galaxies accelerate faster and faster apart from each other, less and less of the observable universe will be seen. That means that in billions of years, all galaxies will have accelerated to the point where they exceed speeds faster than that of light, at which point the light being emitted from those galaxies will be unable to traverse the distance needed to make it back. In Einstein's theory of general relativity, Einstein is often misquoted as saying that nothing can go faster than light. What Einstein actually said was, objects with no inertia could not accelerate to a speed that was faster than that of light. Einstein made special considerations that allow objects already accelerating, the possibility of faster than light travel. Because of this, a spaceship cannot travel faster than the speed of light, however galaxies that are already accelerating would not be affected by this limitation.

When this happens, anyone on this planet or any planet somewhere in the cosmos looking through a telescope in the night sky will only see the stars available in their own galaxy, and when they peer at a spot of darkness in that night sky, it will appear to be cold and dark and empty. Anyone looking up into just such a sky will have no evidence of the big bang, and they will have no evidence that galaxies beyond their own, exist at all. Scientists will discover all the science of the universe, do all the experiments of that science and derive from that science all the wrong conclusions about the universe they observe.

But the picture beyond that gets even bleaker, because as galaxies accelerate faster and faster away from each other, the hydrogen that is required to create new stars is spread farther and farther into the universe, and eventually the galaxies will exhaust their supply of hydrogen available and be unable to get anymore. Once this happens, no new stars will emerge and as time passes fewer and fewer stars in the night sky will be visible until one day someone might look up into that night sky and see nothing at all. One day far, far off in the future, the last star in the universe will go out and there will be no hydrogen left to create others, and on that day the universe will go dark forever.

It's hard to imagine that an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent being would create such a universe, after all, such a being would certainly be able to foresee just such an eventuality and stop it, or better yet create a universe where such a possibility would not occur in the first place. Christians argue that God allows such things to happen because of free will, however it is hard to argue a concept like free will, when talking about the universe which does not possess conscious thought or an ability to make decisions.

The universe exists as it does and nothing can change that, and so human free will cannot play into a rational discussion of the repercussions of a universe that seems at present on course for its own destruction. How can a rational person reconcile the fact that God who is supposed to be perfect, would create the most imperfect of places to live, an environment where the existence of an entire planet of human beings who worship it, are doomed to destruction, but more so that all life in the universe, a possibility that certainly exists, is doomed to the very same fate.

It is my belief that fundamentally religious people who look at such evidence are affected in one of two ways, either they do not believe it, purely based on the fact that its conclusions are derived principally in science itself, or that they might believe such a possibility but contend that it's God's way, and they either await a miracle which may never come, or simply adjust to the idea that God is mysterious and we are not privy to the ways he makes his decisions. The latter conclusion leads me to believe that such religious people should be excluded from discussions on rational thinking because the principles for which they base their arguments are rooted in superstition and absurdity.

I have spent most of my life with no need for religion and have tried to live with an understanding of the science of the universe. I am by no means an expert and the information contained in this part of the article can be researched by anyone. The conclusions made herein, are based on scientific theory. It should however, be of particular importance that something should be made clear, and I think religious people often mistake it and for which the scientific community makes no attempt to correct.

Theory is defined as a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena.

It does not mean that theory refers to a guess or conjecture, which most creationists will attempt to persuade you to believe. Somehow creationists have turned the word theory into a bad word, and anytime they want to trump out a reason why relativity or evolution is not possible, they refer to it as a theory. However, understanding what theory really means it is clear that although evolution is a theory this does not mean that it is incorrect.

However, although evolution is most definitely a theory, creation cannot be a theory by definition, since it lacks scientific experimentation and observation, a requirement to prove or disprove a hypothesis. Ultimately, this means that although creationists can maintain their version of the universe as one of pure faith, it lacks the scientific reason that allows it to be considered as a serious conclusion. This does not mean however, that the existence of God can be disproved, only that it cannot be scientifically proven, which by scientific definition means that it lacks the scientific foundation to be generally accepted.

In part five of this article I will attempt to coherently blend much of my opinions and conclusions together into a working summation that I hope will complete this article and enlighten some of you.

UPDATE: You can find part five here

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